‘A Tribute to Motown’ celebrates Black History Month

The ECU School of Music Jazz Studies Program and the Hilton Greenville will present “A Tribute to Motown Show” as a Black History Month concert celebrating African-Americans’ many contributions to the music world at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 23 in Wright Auditorium at ECU.

Admission is $12.50 for the general public, $7.50 for students. For tickets, call 1-800-ECU-ARTS.

The concert features Ronee Martin, blues and jazz vocalist, and Christie Dashiell, Afro Blue-featured vocalist, performing Motown classics including “Respect,” “Dr. Feel Good,” “Dancin’ in the Street,” “Sugar Pie Honey Bunch,” “Kansas City,” “My Girl” and many more. Carroll V. Dashiell Jr. is the concert music director.

Martin has worked with songwriters and producers including Burt Bacharach and Carol Bayer Sagar, and Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil. She was featured vocalist for Tom Scott on “One Day/ One Night” and on the compilation “Sensation” with Joe Sample, Tom Scott and Hubert Laws, and she has sung background for Elton John, Seal, Faith Hill and Tim McGraw.

Christie Dashiell has appeared in concert performances with Smokey Robinson, Fred Hammond, Boney James, Geri Allen, Vanessa Rubin, Nnenna Freelon, Carmen Lundy, Mary Stallings and the Smithsonian Masterworks Jazz Orchestra. She is a recipient of the Down Beat Magazine 2008 and 2010 Outstanding Soloist Award, winning in the jazz vocal category and as soloist with Afro Blue, winning the 2011 Best College Graduate Jazz Vocalist Award.

Martin and Dashiell will be assisted by Bill Ford, special guest piano/synthesizers; Jon Ozment, special guest piano/synthesizers; Carroll V. Dashiell Jr., music director, bass; Jeff Bair, Jeremiah Miller and Vaughn Ambrose, saxophones; Carroll V. Dashiell III, drums; Joe Phillips, guitar; Joey Stultz, ethnic percussion; Karen Peele, trombone; Steve Peckous, tenor sax; and James Old, trumpet. Background vocals are by “3 D”: Cameron Dashiell, Rochelle Rice, Alden Quick and Marvin Thorne.

Prior to the concert, ECU’s Organization of African-American Staff will host “A Red Carpet Affair,” celebrating Black History Month and the value of African-American employees and students.

The two-hour event includes a dinner banquet and the inaugural presentation of the new ECU African-American Awards of Excellence. Lynnette Taylor, anchor for WITN News at 6 p.m., will give a keynote address.

Festivities begin at 4:30 p.m. at the East Carolina Heart Institute. Package tickets are available for people interested in attending both the banquet and Motown concert, priced at $23 for students and $35 for faculty, staff and the public. After Feb. 18, package prices increase to $28 for ECU students and $40 for faculty, staff, and the public.